Panasonic tx-p42gt20

Sound

Compared to the extra potency afforded to Panasonic's VT20 plasma TVs by their use of an additional bass speaker, the P42GT20's bass-light delivery is a disappointment.

Considered in isolation, though, the sound is decent. There's enough space in the midrange to leave a good audio mix sounding clear and engaging, and slightly more bass than you'd usually hear on a modern 42in TV. The biggest disappointment is a slight shortage of treble information.

Value

The value aspect of the P42GT20 depends very much on whether Panasonic decides to keep its 'two free sets of glasses' promotion going. With the glasses included as they are at the time of writing, £1,500 doesn't look too much for such a strong performer with 2D and, especially, 3D.

Take the glasses away, though, and suddenly you're looking at having to add £200 to the £1,500 asking price if you want to watch 3D. And that puts the P42GT20 only £100 shy of the impressive P42VT20, which not only has two pairs of glasses included as standard, but also provides a free Wi-Fi LAN adaptor and happens to produce even better pictures.

Ease of use

Some things about the P42GT20's operating system are excellent. Its remote control does a good job for the most part of handling the TV's many functions, a rather tucked away main menu button notwithstanding.

The onscreen menus are also effective in organisational terms, with reasonable 'layering' of features to help shelter technophobes from anything that might send their brains into meltdown. They're rather dull and dated in their presentation, though.

Our two biggest bones of contention with the P42GT20, however, concern its 3D features and electronic programme guides. The 3D menus seem rather fiddly – a process not helped by the fact that there's no dedicated 3D button on the remote control. And the EPGs fail to impress thanks to not retaining video or audio of the channel you were watching when you pressed the EPG button, and by cluttering up the Freeview one with some annoyingly large adverts.